Frequently Asked Questions



When will I be contacted once I complete registration for the SPARK program?

You will be contacted within 1 week by a member of our SPARK team.  Once a Parent Partner is assigned, the first appointment can be scheduled as early as 1 to 2 weeks later.

If I work or I’m in school, who else can participate with my child during the lessons?

As the child’s parent, you can name a friend or family member over the age of 18 to be the child’s “Learning Advocate.”  This person must agree to be actively involved at each lesson.

Will SPARK fit into my work or school schedule?

The SPARK program is offered Monday through Friday and is very flexible. Your parent partner will make every attempt to accommodate your work or school schedule by being available mornings, afternoons and some evenings.

My child is in a preschool program – can we still be in SPARK?

Yes, SPARK encourages children who are enrolled in preschool to participate in SPARK.  Research has proven that children who participate in both SPARK and preschool score higher on the KRA-L. Your Parent Partner would work around the preschool schedule.

How long is the program?

The program runs year-round, but families generally begin in the fall.  The length of the program depends on whether the child enters the program as a 3-year-old or a 4-year-old. If the child enters the program as a 3-year-old, they will remain in the program for two years, until they enter kindergarten. At the end of the 3-year-old program the child will then transition to the 4 year program and remain in that program until they enter kindergarten. If the child enters the program as a 4-year-old they will participate in the SPARK program for one year and then transition to kindergarten.

Where is the program held?

All 4-year-old SPARK lessons are held in the family’s home, and several of the 3-year-old SPARK lessons are held at one of the SPARK Akron Public School Community Learning Centers.  If the family prefers, lessons can be provided at Greenleaf Family Center, at their neighborhood Akron Public School, or at the local library.

What are the eligibility criteria for SPARK?

To be eligible for SPARK the child must be either 3 or 4 years old, and the family must reside in one of the following or have a child already attending one of the following Akron Public Schools:

Crouse CLC, David Hill CLC, Glover CLC, Leggett CLC, Mason CLC, McEbright CLC, and Robinson CLC.

What kind of program is SPARK?

SPARK is a FREE Kindergarten readiness program for families of 3- and 4-year-old children.  It is a family-focused program that works collaboratively with families, schools, and the community. The in-home or group-based program offers FREE books, supplies, and lesson activities to assist parents in their child’s journey to prepare their child for Kindergarten.  The program guides and engages parents to become their child’s first and best teacher.

What if the deaf or hard-of-hearing person does not know sign language?

C-Print Services are available and can be scheduled just as you schedule an interpreter. C-Print uses a personal laptop computer that enables the person to receive information using text, similar to Closed Caption.

What is the role of the interpreter?

A sign language interpreter acts as an intermediary in a communication-related situation so that the participants, both deaf and hearing, can understand each other.

What if the deaf or hard-of-hearing person tells me he/she has a preference of one or more interpreters?

Please ask the deaf or hard-of-hearing person for the name of the interpreter(s). If at all possible, we will provide that interpreter. If it is not possible, we will contact you and if necessary (and feasible), the deaf or hard-of-hearing individual to determine whether other available interpreters are acceptable.

Why do some assignments require a team of interpreters?

In team interpreting, interpreters rotate at regular intervals, usually 20 to 30 minutes, while providing continuity in the message transmission. Rotation greatly reduces mental and physical fatigue by allowing a shift of tasks. Continuity is assured as all team members remain present and actively involved, thereby maintaining awareness of the content and context of the information being transmitted.

How much advance notice do I need to request an interpreter?

As soon as you become aware of the need for an Interpreter, please contact us. If you wait until the last minute, it may be more difficult to coordinate interpreting services. In addition, requests made at the last minute may be charged an additional fee.

What happens in counseling?

Counseling begins with a comprehensive Diagnostic Assessment to clearly define current difficulties and to gather background information. Once the concerns are clearly defined, the counselor and client work together to establish specific treatment goals.

How do I schedule an appointment with a counselor?

Call our office (330) 376-9494 and our staff will schedule a 30-minute Care Management appointment with you. During this appointment, our Care Managers will work with you to define your counseling needs and place you with the appropriate counselor. You will be asked to bring proof of income, your insurance card, and photo ID to this appointment.

You may also download our health forms  in advance and bring them with you to your appointment.

Do you accept my insurance?

We accept Medicaid and most private insurance plans for mental health counseling services. If you don’t have any insurance, your fee will be established based on our Sliding Fee Scale. The least you will pay for a counseling session is $7 and the most you will pay is $90.00. Please call our office and one of our Care Managers can assist you with any insurance concerns.

I don’t have any income or insurance. Can I still be seen for counseling?


We ask that you complete our No Income Form explaining how you’re meeting your daily needs. This letter must be signed by you and a trusted friend or family member.

When can I start the program?

Our case management services, support groups, and Young Parents Club are all open to new participants at any time during the school year and at any time during their pregnancy or parenting.

Is there an age limit for participation in the Teen Parent Program?

Participants can continue to be involved with the Teen Parent Program as long as they wish, until they turn 20 years old.

Who are your counselors?
Our counseling staff are caring, competent, and culturally sensitive clinicians. Our clinicians are licensed and have a Master’s degree in Counseling, Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy or Chemical Dependency Substance Abuse Professionals.
What is the cost for the Anger Management, Parenting, and Couples Group?

There is a flat fee of $20 per session for these groups. Fees must be paid in full in order to receive a Certificate of Completion. Medicaid is accepted in most cases. Please call our office (330) 376-9494 for additional information.

  • Single Session
  • $2000
  • 8-Week Bundle
  • $16000
  • 10-Week Bundle
  • $20000


When are counseling services offered?
We offer day and evening appointments. Some groups are offered on Saturday mornings.
Who can be seen for counseling?
Children ages 7 and up and adults.
Can Dads participate in the Teen Parent Program?

Young dads are welcome to participate in case management services and the Young Parents Club. School group participation is determined by the school counselor at each school–some are moms only, some are mixed moms and dads.